Life with a Superhero: Raising Michael Who Has Down Syndrome
by Kathryn U. Hulings
Life with a Superhero tells the story of the Hulings family and their adoption of a baby boy with Down Syndrome (Michael). The circumstances which brought them all together are quite compelling and I think that they really were destined to become a family.
From the beginning, Kathryn Hulings stands out as a fierce and loving mother. She was staunchly committed to all her children but when it came to Michael, she always fought to make sure he was afforded every opportunity and lesson that any other kid might have. Even when it wasn't always the easiest road to get there, she was still up to the challenge. While some of her methods were a little unconventional and might have raised the eyebrows of others, everything she did was out of love and protection of Michael. For example, Michael had a habit of taking off and running away sometimes. Of course, this could be a very dangerous situation. Once when they were on a family camping trip in Wisconsin, Kathryn was worried about Michael slipping away and running off into the woods. He happened to be afraid of monkeys so Kathryn told him that if he took off and left the cabin, the monkeys would get him! I'm pretty sure there are no monkeys in the wilds of Wisconsin but Kathryn knew she had to find a way to keep Michael safe. I think she figured that her intentions were good so she would be forgiven for a few little white lies.
The Hulings family had a lot of unique methods for helping Michael thrive and learn about life. I was touched at how everyone, especially the other siblings, were always so committed to teaching and including Michael and showing him so much unconditional love.
Life with a Superhero: Raising Michael Who Has Down Syndrome is about a real, ordinary family who did an extraordinary job of raising Michael. Funny, heartwarming, and, at times, heartbreaking, this book shows what it's like for someone growing up with Down Syndrome. I enjoyed getting to know this special family and learning about not only the hardships, but also the joys of raising a special needs child.